Mitchell's Stepping Stones and Dakota Counseling Institute caught a break. The Davison County Commission unanimously gave its seal of approval during the regular meeting last week that will allow for a larger outdoor activity area behind the rehabilitation facility and expands on to idle county land that borders the county's jail. Michelle Carpenter, who joined Dakota Counseling Institue in 1995 and has been the Executive Director since 2002, presented the idea for an outdoor area for its clients last year and was excited to hear the good news.
Students of the agronomy department at Mitchell Technical Institute lightened up the regular meeting of the Davison County Commission on Tuesday with a presentation of their experiences at the Land Lab. The eight students were accompanied by their instructor and ag department head Rick Kriese. The area is a featured component of the ag program that farms 85 acres of county-owned land near the campus where students can gain experience in all areas of the farming operation such as budgeting, planning, planting, spraying, fertilizing, harvesting and marketing.
The Mitchell Board of Education presented Superintendent Joe Graves a new three-year contract Monday evening after the regular meeting at the Mitchell Technical Institute campus. Graves' annual salary will remain the same at this time. His new contract runs through June 2022, paying an annual salary of $137,765. "I'm very appreciative of the confirmation and look forward to continue to serve the district," Graves said.
STICKNEY — Since she was a little girl, Stickney resident Cheryl Dethlefsen has been drawn to South Dakota Farmers Union youth camps and 4-H. After 25 years of service at the Farmers Union grassroots educational program, Dethlefsen was recently honored with the prestigious Minnie Lovinger award. "It's cool to receive this award," said Dethlefsen, Aurora County Farmers Union education director. "It goes to an educator that has promoted and done important things for the kids. And it's nice to get this recognition."
New year, same leadership. During Tuesday's Davison County Commission meeting, commissioners unanimously confirmed Brenda Bode as the chairperson, and Kim Weitala as the vice-chairperson of the board for 2019. Auditor Susan Kiepke administered the oaths of office to Bode, Weitala and fellow commissioners John Claggett, Dennis Kiner and Randy Reider during the commission's regular meeting Tuesday at the Davison County North Offices in Mitchell.
On Saturday, beauty, poise and a meaningful cause takes center stage. Contestants of the Miss Mitchell and Miss Mitchell Outstanding Teen competition are fluffing their dresses, rehearsing speeches and preparing for interviews with the judges for this year's pageant that will be held at the Mitchell School District's Performing Arts Center this weekend. Tessa Dee, a former Miss South Dakota and the Executive Director of the Miss Mitchell organization brought the pageant back to the community last year after the Miss Mitchell competition took an estimated 35-year hiatus.
Acting is serious play for 12-year-old Jane Kelly of Mitchell. After not finding enough opportunities to perform during the school year, the young go-getter decided to form her very own theater crew she calls Y.A.M., an acronym for Youth Actors of Mitchell. On Saturday, Kelly presented her project to a small group of like-minded kids at the Mitchell Library during a first informal meeting. Her intentions are not to compete with the Mitchell Area Community Theatre (ACT), but to fill the gap and create a space for young actors to learn, grow and most importantly, perform.
One year after its implementation, a three-tier policy to reduce truancy and absenteeism of Mitchell's students is showing positive results. Based on the recent school report card for Mitchell School District, attendance numbers are in the mid- to high 90 percent across all grades in the elementary, middle and high schools. The three-tier policy program was designed by the Davison County State Attorney's office in cooperation with the Mitchell School District and implemented in January.
Smiling faces, warm hearts and full bellies. The 20th annual community Christmas day dinner at the Mitchell Masonic Lodge displayed the spirit of giving. More than 50 volunteers from the community, including members of the Corn Palace Shrine Club and the Mitchell Masonic Lodge, prepared and served over 1,000 free holiday dinners this year at the gathering, hosted by the Mitchell Masonic Lodge. Troy Magnuson, lodge member and event organizer, has been with the program since it started.
RAPID CITY—South Dakota authorities are searching for an 87-year-old man in the Rapid City area, issuing an Endangered Missing Advisory. Albert Lenerville, 87, was last seen around noon local time Friday by family members in the Rapid City area. Lenerville is a white male, 6-feet tall, weighs 180 pounds, with hazel eyes. He has no hair and wears glasses. He was last seen wearing a black baseball hat, black jacket and blue jeans.